We had a tradition around the McCann family table every Thanksgiving.
No, not the one that includes one family member accusing another of being judgemental and somebody else jumping on the bandwagon, while others piled on that first individual for being hypersensitive, and one statement gets elevated by the next until tears are shed and there’s a random turkey leg spinning around on the ceiling fan above the table while my father would quietly fill his glass with a little bit more wine, thinking nobody was paying attention to him.
No, I’m talking about a different one.
Once the turkey leg was salvaged from its spinning perch and my father rescued from his equally-spinning chair, we would each take turns stating what it was we were thankful for that particular year. The idea behind the tradition was originally to take stock about how fortunate each of us were in our individual lives, but it actually turned into a competition over who could make my grandmother cry the most.
This, by the way, was not a difficult task, as my grandmother would cry at the slightest reference made to somebody being thankful for her, the work she put into the turkey, or the relative success of the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, my grandmother is no longer with us, but her tradition continues to this day, even as our family is now scattered across the nation.
So, without further adieu, I present my own list of what I am thankful for, and I stress beforehand that there is no man on this planet who is full of more good fortune than myself:
• I am thankful for my wife and beautiful baby girl. There really is nothing else to add to this, except that my world is infinitely better because of them.
• I am thankful to be working. That alone is something to be grateful for, and the fact that I get to come to work every day to contribute to a newspaper I love with every ounce of my being is something I do not take for granted.
• I am thankful that elastic has been added to more waistlines in men’s clothing. Rise against the machine, I like to say. Sometimes that machine is a piece of exercise equipment I have developed a personal distate for because there isn’t a convenient place to hold my Twinkies while I pretend to exercise.
• I am thankful for the family I was born into, from birth to now. Through thick and thin, I have always known exactly where to turn, and that is not a luxury everybody has in this world.
• I am thankful that my little sister is such an exceptional mother. I say this because she has two beautiful sons who make me laugh every time I get to spend time with them, and you really can’t put a price on good laughs.
• I’m thankful that Tootsie Rolls are still a thing. Chewy, delicious and easy to unwrap. Why don’t we have a theme park based on these little slices of ecstacy?
• I’m thankful that I have spent more than 15 years working with the likes of Jane Meleady and Susan Lyons in various locations. If you know them, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, these are the kind of people you want in your life.
• I’m thankful that Hanes has gotten rid of the tags on their undershirts. Nothing can ruin a day more consistently than that little itch you get at the bottom of your neck from a tag that has been apparently constructed of a rare alloy consisting of cotton, titanium and rusty razor blades. Oh, sure, you could rip them off, but you are just as likely to tear a hole in your shirt or leave that little tag fragment that makes it feel as if someone is slowly twisting a...
But I digress.
• I’m thankful for the Pointies. Yes, I mentioned before how grateful I am to be working at the Coastal Point, but I need to also mention the great people I get to work with every day. Make no mistake about it: We are a for-profit business and we want to maximize our earnings as much as anybody else does. However, it makes one’s heart feel good to hear more conversations around the office about trying to help somebody or that person’s business than anything else. These people love our community, our schools and our businesses and want desperately to see them all succeed.
• I’m thankful for my friends. If you truly are judged by the company you keep, I’m happy to ride their coattails. From my friends in this area to those I grew up with to those I served with a million years ago or worked with at different newspapers in various cities, I’ve somehow surrounded myself with people I trust completely.
• I’m thankful for our readers, advertisers and supporters. Without you, there would be no reason for us to get to do what we love. Happy Thanksgiving!